That time you painstakingly planned the perfect event only to watch it take a turn for the worse, spiral completely out of your control and bomb – leaving your residents disgusted, baffled, or the absolute worst – just plain gone – GASP – a room of empty chairs.
Oh, the war stories I could tell.
From foul-mouthed comedians to seemingly normal presenters turned crazy conspiracy theorists, to over-imbibed entertainers – I can honestly say not much surprises me anymore. (Keep in mind, I live in Austin – and we do our best to keep it weird).
I don’t regret any of these “failures”.
They were all learning experiences and in hindsight NOT as bad as they seemed at the time. OK, maybe some of them were. Quite frankly I think the residents secretly kind of enjoyed these disasters on some level, simply because – well – life can’t be roses all the time and small doses of drama can sometimes be fun. Let’s face it: these doozies made for great conversation at dinner.
For me, I was able to let go of the occasional program that bombed because my overall score card was filled with so many successes. I also understood that I couldn’t have so many successes without taking a lot of chances. And in taking a lot of chances, you’re bound to come up short on occasion.
I knew other professionals whose calendars were not as full or as interesting. When we’d talk, I’d learn every time that fear was holding them back. They were playing it SAFE. They were too afraid to book a comedian because of fear of what one might say or do. They were too afraid to book anything controversial because SOME residents might be upset. (Um, breaking news – SOME resident is always upset about SOMETHING). But I digress.
Unless the performer or presenter was completely generic or neutral they wouldn’t get booked and the calendar remained bare or even worse, a bit boring. Now I’m not advocating just bringing any character or charlatan in. Ripe is about premier programs, after all.
Presenters and performers should come recommended by reputable sources. I’m an advocate of Quality programming over Quantity programming. And there is a fine line between taking chances and letting just any ol’ body walk in to degrade your efforts. But I am about taking SOME chances when it comes to programming.
Take a Chance
Chances are what get people talking and exchanging ideas. Chances are the elements of surprise. Chances are what make life interesting and overall – enriching. Life would be pretty boring if every day we saw the same old song and dance pony show. It’s those chances we take that can make life the most rewarding.
So the next time you have a program that bombs, don’t beat yourself up over it. Think of it as taking a chance. To have a lot of success one must take a lot of chances.